When you think about the cities in the world that you might expect to be leaders in the field of gaming, where springs to mind? For most people, first thoughts might be somewhere like San Francisco or Seoul, perhaps New York or Tokyo at a push. But a surprising new report has found that the answer is, in fact, Montreal as most gaming-obsessed city. This might not be at all what one would expect but the truly global nature of today’s gaming industry means that geography should have no real role to play. And with e-sports continuing to grow and attract more and more followers across the world, this is becoming even more the case.
How the data was compiled
In putting together the report, its originators, 3D Aim Trainer, took a wide number of factors into account. While Montreal didn’t always lead these, it did in certain key areas. This meant that when all were taken into account, the city came out on top.
For example, the researcher looked at how many major games industry events were held in each particular city and Montreal came 9th after other locations including London, Los Angeles and Berlin and tying with the only other Canadian city on the list, Vancouver.
Another key factor that helped the city achieve its position came from quite a different angle. The researchers quite logically decided that and key indicator of how keen a city was on gaming would be the density of gaming stores that it contains. After all, if there are enough gamers in a city, they will be enough to maintain a health eco-system of the places in which they go to buy their games and other gaming peripherals. Again, Montreal didn’t top the list, but it did well enough for this to count heavily in the city’s favour.
But what really clinched the title for Montreal was the sheer number of career openings in the gaming industry in the city. This was a figure derived from searches on major job sites Indeed and CareerJet which amounted to a total of 877 in July 2020. The nearest rival was Los Angeles with just 330.
It might not seem entirely logical that, while the city only topped one of the categories on which the data was collected, this was a critical one. That’s because it suggests that there’s a booming gaming industry in Montreal with companies actively searching for new talent.
And, perhaps more than any other industry, people who work in gaming are obsessed, to a greater or lesser degree, with playing the games themselves.
It’s also worth noting that Canada has the third-largest gaming industry in the world overall, with only the US and Japan ahead of it. It’s also one that generates around CAN$3 billion a year so it’s certainly not to be overlooked. It has had quite a long time to build up to this point with the earliest video game businesses opening in the early 1980s.
The Canadian government has always been a staunch supporter of the industry offering generous start-up grants to bolster it. It was their support for Ubisoft, the gaming giant, that saw it being set up in the city in 1997. It has since grown to be the largest home-grown company of its kind in Canada and created something of a gaming hub.
As a result, other big names from around the world have also chosen Montreal for their Canadian design studios including Electronics Arts and the gaming division of Warner Brothers. This, in turn, has also led to a big influx of young professionals to the city to work in gaming and its related fields.
A thriving gambling industry too
An offshoot and consequence of this has also been a huge upsurge in tech companies in Montreal serving the online gambling industry. Once completely separate from gaming, these two have been gradually moving closer and closer together as the online casino world has become more sophisticated.
Canada itself has seen a considerable development in its gambling industry over the years to become one of the countries in the world where it is widely enjoyed. The activity started out as being purely land-based with brick-and-mortar casinos being of great appeal to tourists and Canadians alike. So, it was on this solid foundation that the online industry began to develop. While there are still relatively few home-grown online casinos at the moment, there are a large number that are available to play for all Canadians.
Given all the facts, it seems highly likely that Montreal is also set to become a major centre for the online casino industry too, playing off the already sound base of gaming experience as well as young and technically adept workforce on hand.
It also presents the potential for some very exciting crossovers too. For example, virtual reality is becoming more and more important in the gaming world so it could well soon be making the transition into online casinos too. This would represent something of a quantum leap forward for online gamblers – and could even encourage more and more gamers to sample the online casino.
It would also help to cement Montreal’s position as Canada’s leading gaming city – a position that once gained, it will be very reluctant indeed to give up.